Home > Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris > Lycoris on a sub-1000 USD TabletPC Available Lycoris on a sub-1000 USD TabletPC Available Eugenia Loli 2003-12-02 Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris 17 Comments ElementComputer has released a $999 TabletPC (interesting laptop but with no internal CD drive) powered by the Lycoris distro (good WinXP TPC Edition alternative but with no handwriting recognition). About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 17 Comments 2003-12-02 3:50 am I dont think the were ready for a slashdoting/OSnewsing double attack!. They went down fast. 2003-12-02 4:06 am From the title, ‘no handwriting recognition’ what is it good for? It is NOT a TabletPC if it does not recognize handwriting. So what is next a car that you cannot drive that just sits there and you look at it? For less than $1000 you can get a really nice laptop with XP Pro with tons more functionality. I think to me it is advertising fraud, calling it a ‘TabletPC’ when it cannot do anything a REAL TablelPC can do like recognize ‘handwriting’. This is nothing more than hype and trying to be something it is not. Very, very sad indeed……. 2003-12-02 4:20 am Sadly, agreed. As much as the prospect of a linux-based tablet excites me, there still is no one decent handwriting recognition library that’s available for the system. For this kind of thing I longingly look to academia, a traditional development hotbed for these kinds of applications (MS’s handwriting recognition was written by researchers at the University of Waterloo, and I recall first hearing about handwriting recognition as being an academic research topic). Give me a decent handwriting recognition algorithm and a Gnome desktop on a Tablet, and you have yourself 1000 of my hard-earned dollars in your pocket. 2003-12-02 4:38 am I’m not sure why they didn’t just spend some time adapting one of the many handwriting recognition apps already available for Linux. Some may lack polish, but Lycoris could have tried to improve one of them to include in their distro. I wouldn’t go as far as say that a tablet without handwriting recognition is useless, however. As long as there’s on-screen text input, handwriting recognition in itself isn’t essential. 2003-12-02 4:49 am I own a TabletPC (An Acer) but with XP and I must say i’m very pleased with it and XP-TPC Ed. has given me no problems so far. I thought about dual booting with the Lycoris distro… but I also heard that these “tablets” don’t even let you switch between protrait and landscape view or even have a portrait view at all! (unconfirmed… I think I read it somewhere though… anyone know better?) Without this and handwriting recognition this is laptop with a stylus. Pretty damn useless to me. M$ has made a decent -if not overpriced (thankfully mine was a demo model so di$count)- product and lets give credit where credit is due. Linux can’t compete here yet. — I wouldn’t go as far as say that a tablet without handwriting recognition is useless, however. As long as there’s on-screen text input, handwriting recognition in itself isn’t essential. at the XP log-in there is only floating keyboard no hand-writing-recognition area… I find this in it itself an inconvience let alone using it longer…. hell no. Even better is MSN-Messenger option to send your writing directly as messages, thus removing the need (at least in this sense) of H-W-R software. 2003-12-02 4:58 am at the XP log-in there is only floating keyboard no hand-writing-recognition area… If it was really cool it would scan your thumb and log you in using your fingerprints! 🙂 2003-12-02 5:37 am I think this is a tablet pc, however as noted, there are lots of things missing. I think they could have been easily included however. Even if they did not have handwriting recognition as such, there is already GPL stuff out there that could have allowed stroke recognition. They could have release a SDK which could give you an ‘ink picture’ control (not recognised) – which is basically a drawing area, and a few nice methods for turning into other forms (gif, base64 etc). It could also include a strokes (recognise one character at a time, like a plam) ‘ink text box’. This, and a few little other things, would have made it much nicer. They could have put just a bit more work in and it would probably have been noticed more. 2003-12-02 8:47 am writing can be recognised. but I am a lot faster on a onscreen keyboard. 2003-12-02 9:32 am Then this tablet is for you – Lycoris has a virtual keyboard instead of handwriting recognition: http://www.lycoris.com/products/tablet/keyboard.php 2003-12-02 11:48 am I understand Open Source is a so different model that we already don’t asume its differences with the actual propietary model. If you buy a WinXP Tablet Edition that have a bad recognition system or not recognition ability (for what I know next version of WinXP Tablet comes with improved recognition input) and you someday needs it, you are right, that machine is not suitable for you. Surely new versions of WinXP Tablet will not work over your actual system, will not sell, or you’ll have to spend 300 bugs to get them. But Linux Based OSes doesn’t work like it. If we don’t have hand recognition it is not a problem. When it becomes available you’ll have 3 or 4 different versions of 256 MB rpm packages that will download in no time to your machine for free. 2003-12-02 3:04 pm This same tablet has been sold at http://www.powernotebooks.com for quite a while for less than $999 and that includes WinXP TPC edition. I’m ususally not one to post but no one anywhere seems to have made mention of this. 2003-12-02 3:59 pm See their product page here- http://www.lycoris.com/products/tablet/ …but what is different? Near as I can tell, the only thing different in this “Tablet Edition” is that it comes with the on-screen keyboard by default, as opposed to having you install it. And it looks like a crappy on-screen keyboard at that- a big bitmap of an actual keyboard rather than something made for efficiency. The lack of handwriting recognition would certainly keep me away- but it wouldn’t a lot of the Linux cheerleaders who may still end up buying these things anyway. Unfortunately there are no projects that I’m aware of to provide real handwriting recognition for Linux, whether its for a tablet machine like this or a PDA like the Zaurus. There are *stroke* or *character* recognition apps, but no real HWR, whole-world HWR as on the Newton, Tablet XP, or any version of Windows (9x, NT/2k/XP, CE & PocketPC) via Calligrapher/Transcriber. It is a damn shame. Motorolla has a product called Lexicus that is an attempt at real handwriting recognition, but it’s not something anyone can get for their Linux boxes, even if they’re willing to pay. Lycoris should have licensed it- Mot only sells it to OEMs. Or at least, they should’ve provided one of the many stroke recog packages in a form that fit in well with their environment. And good HWR like CG works with a wide range of handwritings. My handwriting looks like shit- messy as hell, half cursive half printing. But Calligrapher still allows me to enter text at 40-50 WPM at 99% accuracy. A ton better than any thumboard or on-screen keyboard that I’ve ever used. 2003-12-02 4:15 pm What, there’s decent handwriting recognition available. Just port it from Opie or GPE. _Integrating_ it might be harder, but that’s not an excuse. I do enjoy PPC’s “real” handwriting recognition, but frankly, even that is unusable for long periods of time. If you’re gonna type, grab a bluetooth keyboard. This thing has USB for a Bluetooth dongle, right? -Erwos 2003-12-02 8:14 pm What, there’s decent handwriting recognition available. Just port it from Opie or GPE. _Integrating_ it might be harder, but that’s not an excuse. No, there is no decent handwriting recognition available. If you’re going to reply to a post, please do us all a favor and read all of it. Erwos, repeat this 10 times: “The Zaurus, whether it’s using Qtopia or GPE/X11, only has CHARACTER RECOGNITION, not real HWR.” I’ve gone over this and said it in my post. As I said, there are no OSS projects to provide real handwriting recognition (HWR) for Linux- except for Mot’s Lexicus. There is also Paragon’s PenReader ( http://try.penreader.com ) it isn’t available for download or purchase, only to OEMs- just like Motorolla’s Lexicus. Mot’s Lexicus QuickPrint is very slow and crappy, though PenReader is a lot better. As for the character/stroke recognition (CR) on the Zaurus… It is far from decent. Real HWR, at least with that on the Newton OS and Calligrapher on WinCE/PocketPC, is much more usable, but you do have to train it. As you use it, correcting its mistakes, it learns your handwriting. Which is why it does so good. The CR on the Zaurus is trainable as well- unlike PalmOS’s Graffiti, you can configure it to recognize your own letter styles. But, it is still quite bad. I’ve trained it a number of times, and no matter what I do, accuracy is very low. I’ve even tried using the default stroke set and just forced myself to learn that- even worse. I loaded the Grafiti-emulation and it was just as bad. Having to correct one out of every three characters I write is just not acceptable. It is absurd how we seem to dismiss sucky factors of Linux- especially Sharp with its OpenPDA/Linux/Qtopia software, but we’d sure ream the hell out Apple or Microsoft if they put out such shitty software… 2003-12-02 8:25 pm ugh, it lost my reply, so here we go again- No, there is no option for decent handwriting recognition for Linux. As I said, there are a couple options that are out of reach to anyone but an OEM, and even so, not that worthwhile neccesarily. Mot’s Lexicus QuickPrint is pretty much total crap. The other option, Paragon’s PenReader, may be decent, but I’ve never had the chance to try it, outside their web-verseion. It’s a shame Lycoris didn’t license that- it may just be what they need. The Zaurus has no handwriting recognition (HWR). It has character/stroke recognition. Not the same thing. And it is far from decent; even if you train it to your own ways of writing letters, it still is very innacurate. You’re better off using the software keyboard. Real HWR is more usable if you train it. As I said, I can do 40-50 WPM with real HWR at 99% accuracy. There are things where a keyboard is nicer- writing code, for instance- but for the most part, I’m fine writing forum posts, email, IRCing, etc using real HWR. I could never do those things on my Zaurus without the IR keyboard, though- there aren’t any decent input methods for it other than my Pocketop. 2003-12-02 11:46 pm Note: This is Windows software (useable with or without TabletPC edition), but this company looks like it has a very interesting product… http://www.penandinternet.com/piweb/news/media.asp#svbi 2003-12-05 5:36 am You guys amaze me how your so….so…..